Interested in Starting a Local Chapter?
The Journey of A Lifetime
Thank you for your interest in developing a chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice in your area. We look forward to you joining this professional organization in its nationwide efforts to address and impact issues as they relate to the field of criminal justice.
A minimum of twelve charter members is needed to begin a NABCJ chapter. The first twelve members will be listed on the chapter’s charter document. The initial twelve members are considered charter members. Only the names of the charter members will appear on the chapter’s charter document.
When developing a new chapter, every effort should be made to encourage membership and participation from a broad representation of the community including religious, educational and civic leaders, as well as other individuals who are concerned about the impact of the criminal justice process and people of color.
One or two interested individuals, who may already be members of the Association should undertake the initial chapter development efforts. Letters and phone calls to prospective chapter members should be directed to those individuals who may be most interested in being a part of NABCJ. It is important to remember that membership in the Association is open to all, without regard to race, creed, religion, or national origin, who share our concern of improving the criminal justice system and lessening the negative impact of the process of African-Americans and other people of color.
A date, time, and place for an initial meeting should be set. One of the initial chapter organizers should chair the meeting. At the initial meeting, information regarding the Association, its mission, objectives, membership requirements, and accomplishments should be presented. At that meeting, if a consensus is reached regarding the need to establish a new chapter, the following action should be taken before the conclusion of the meeting:
- The prospective chapter must adopt a set of by-laws which are consistent with those of the National Office. Most chapters utilize the National by-laws in designing their by-law document. The by-laws will become the initial governing document of the new chapter. Most new chapters of NABCJ have adopted the National’s by-laws and have substituted their chapter’s name in the place of the National’s. The by-laws can, at a later time, be modified to reflect any needed changes.
- Copies of the terms and conditions of affiliation with NABCJ can be distributed. This document outlines the responsibilities and duties of the State to its chapters and vice versa.
- Dues should be collected consistent with the information listed.
- A slate of officers should then be elected. The officers may be elected to serve for a period of one year, or they may be elected to serve until some other time at which the expanded chapter will vote in permanent slate. A president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer are the required officers. In addition, a parliamentarian and corresponding secretary may be elected as well. A resolution authorizing the Treasurer to open a local bank account in the name of the chapter should be offered and adopted by the membership of the new chapter.
Several operating committees should then be established. These may have as their focus: a) membership; b) public relations/publicity; c) fund-raising; d) a time, date, and place for holding the monthly membership meetings should be established. A standard date and time for the monthly chapter meeting generally works best. A decision should be made as to the exact name of the new chapter. Finally, the secretary or president of the new chapter should be authorized to acquire a local post office box to serve as the official mailing address of the new chapter.
What will the new chapter receive from the National Office?
When all the necessary information and fees are received by the National Treasurer, a decision to grant a charter to the prospective chapter will then be made by the national Board of Directors at its next meeting. After the decision to grant a charter has been made the president of the new chapter will receive the following:
- Formal written notification of the action of the National Board regarding the decision to grant the new chapter;
- A typed list of the names and address of each chapter member whom the National Treasurer has been provided a completed membership application form and membership dues;
- Two copies of the official chapter charter. (The official charter certificate allows for the name of each charter member of the new chapter to appear on it. A decision may be made to have the new charter presented at the next Annual Business Meeting of the Association);
- Membership cards for each of the new members, along with copies of the most recent national publication.
As is the case with every professional association, there are fees associated with affiliation and membership in NABCJ. Remember, the Association is incorporated as a non-profit organization. The financial affairs of the Association are subjected to an annual audit and are totally open to its members. All funds generated by the Association are used to carry out its official activities, e.g., educational programs, training conferences, scholarships, research, and public awareness. All officers and members of the national Board of Directors and local chapters are volunteers and serve without monetary compensation.
The annual dues each individual members pays is $15.00 per year. Memberships are on a calendar year basis. For each chapter member, $5.00 of the annual membership dues stays with the local chapter and $10.00 is forwarded to the National Treasurer.
Finally, each chapter pays annual chapter dues to the National Treasurer in the amount of $50.00 and a one-time chapter charter fee of $100.00. Annual chapter dues are due on January 1st of each year. The annual chapter dues represents the only assessment received by the National Office and are used to defray the on-going operating costs of the Association.
What should be forwarded to the National Office?
A new chapter is required to forward to the National Treasurer the following:
- completed membership application forms for all of its new members
- a copy of the adopted local by-laws including the official name of the new chapter
- a listing of the names, positions, and office phone numbers of the chapter’s officers
- a one-time charter fee of $100.00
- the first year’s annual chapter dues of $50.00, along with $10.00 of all individual membership dues collected by the new chapter. The completed chapter affiliation application package should be forwarded to:
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice
North Carolina Central University
Post Office Box 19788
Durham, NC 27707
The National Office is responsible for processing your chapter’s application packet. If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this document, please phone the National Office at 919.683.1801 or fax us at 919.683.1903. The National Office will be glad to assist you with chapter development.
* Please note that all payments submitted to the National Office must be in the form of a certified check or money order made payable to NABCJ.